Three of Detroit’s four goals on Friday came from their defense as the blue line led the Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Niklas Kronwall all scored for the Red Wings. Johan Franzen had the lone forward goal for the team.
Kindl got Detroit on the board with 1:05 left in the first period. His shot from the blue line deflected off New Jersey defenseman Adam Larsson and past goalie Cory Schneider for a power play goal.
Just 33 seconds later, Smith took a drop from Joakim Andersson and stepped in near the slot to snap a shot past Schneider.
With 8:19 left in the second period and the Red Wings on another power play, Franzen cut through the left faceoff circle, stepped around defender Bryce Salvador, and put a shot in behind Schneider.
Kronwall rounded out the team’s scoring with 2:21 left in the period when his shot wide of the net bounced off the back boards, then off Schneider and into the goal.
Former Red Wing Jordin Tootoo made it 4-2, scoring for the Devils at 2:26 of the final frame, putting the rebound of a Marek Zidlicky shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.
Steve Bernier had opened the game’s scoring for New Jersey at 3:18 of the first period. Perched at the top of the crease, Bernier picked up the rebound of a Salvador shot and tucked it around Howard.
Howard finished the night with 15 saves on 17 shots against. Schneider stopped 20 of 24 Detroit chances in the first two periods before giving way to Kevin Kincaid in the third period. Kincaid stopped all seven shots he faced.
The Red Wings went two-for-four on the power play. New Jersey was scoreless in three tries with the man-advantage.
Center Pavel Datsyuk was a late scratch for the Red Wings, with Joakim Andersson taking his spot in the lineup… Tomas Jurco was a healthy scratch… Kyle Quincey was also out injured.